Some of you may have heard about/read a recent news story about Terri Stimmel, a woman convicted of killing her roommates cat.
You may read the story and be shocked by her actions.
I, on the other hand, read that story and was immediately saddened by the fact that she had not had proper mental health help. The story quotes her as saying that she had "uncontrollable impulses". Could it have been OCD? Another issue? Could it have been prevented by medicine and counceling? (Both of which she is currently receiving.)
Fortunately she is finally getting the help that she deserves.
Unfortunately animals died, the owner of the cat is suffering and Terri's life will never be the same. She is painted as a monster but no one is addressing the real issue...
Our health care system is failing our most vulnerable people... those with mental health issues.
There is one fact (among others) that was left out of all of the news stories about Terri.... she was born premature. Yep, yet another former preemie with mental health issues.
I have been very open on this blog about Paige's struggle with anxiety and OCD. She has hurt herself, hurt her brother and had thoughts of hurting her father and I. She makes innapropriate statements in front of others. She has thoughts that are too scary for me to mention here. All because of her OCD "thoughts". There are times when I want to crawl in a hole, bury my head in the sand, deep below reality and never talk about it again.
Then I get letters from other adult preemies who thank me for being honest. They need to know they are not alone. The letters from parents of kids, who are the same age as Paige, hit me hard too (although I wholeheartedly appreciate each and every one of them).
The kids are hurting. Families are hurting.
Who will take care of our kids when they are adults and out on their own? When we die? What happens if they can't afford mental health care? What happens when they can't work because of mental health issues?
Our kids WILL grow up. There is an entire group of kiddos who were saved at the edge of viability who are now having issues like Paige.
Will the system be there for them?
It sure isn't there now. It wasn't there for Terri.